How Your Contractor Can Help with More than Your Pavement

No one can predict when a natural disaster or some other type of man-made emergency might occur, but having a relationship with a paving and pavement maintenance contractor can be beneficial in those unexpected circumstances. That’s because in the aftermath of emergency situations the contractor can utilize his fleet, his expertise – and his labor – to provide emergency services to help you out.

Following hurricanes, tornadoes or floods, for example, one of the biggest problems is debris cleanup as lumber, trees, and just about anything else you can imagine might have found its way to your property. And before you again invite your tenants into their stores or the public onto your property it’s essential that you clean it of debris that is not only unsightly but which can be a safety issue.

Your contractor can be your emergency relief valve in such situations. Not only does he have the workforce to get all sorts of jobs done, but those workers are familiar with working outdoors, they’re conditioned for physical work, and they are skilled in the equipment you’re going to need.

And the contractor has that equipment, including:

  • Pickup Trucks – Essential to haul workers from one place to another on roads (or, depending on the disaster, off roads). These vehicles can carry not only workers they can carry tools, small equipment, supplies, generators and more.
  • Dump Trucks – Depending on the scale of the event, there could be so much debris that you’ll want it removed from your property.
  • Skid Steer Loaders – This piece of equipment is the Swiss Army Knife of construction equipment. Not only can it traverse just about any area, it’s highly maneuverable. In the hands of a skilled operator skid steers can accomplish just about anything in the field. And skid steers have a powerful hydraulic system that enables them to use a variety of attachments from pavement saws to rakes, sweepers, pavement breakers and cold planers – making them possibly the single most-important and adaptable piece of equipment on any fleet. If your contractor has a skid steer (or two) in his fleet, you’re in good hands.
  • Bulldozer – These are valuable pieces of equipment that can be used to carry debris to a central location on your property and pick it up into the dump trucks.
  • Sweeper – Not all contractors own a sweeping truck, but they at least work with a sweeper subcontractor they can rely on. And while sweeping is one of the last cleanup steps your property will need, it’s an essential step to make sure the pavement is free of glass, nails, sharp metal and other objects that could damage vehicles, tires or be a safety hazard to pedestrians.

It’s also important to note that once you have engaged a contractor to remove debris from your property, he needs a place to put it. A public agency might have secured a site to accept debris and the contractor can haul debris there. If that’s not the case, contractors know where the dumps are and probably have a line of credit with them. Another option, at least temporarily, is to remove the debris to the contractor’s yard where he can parcel it out to dumps steadily – but get it off your property immediately.

Repairs Are Next

Once the debris has been removed, you might need to make repairs. It’s good to work with a full-service contractor who offers paving, striping, sealcoating, patching, and signage – pretty much everything a parking lot needs – because he’ll have the expertise to assess damage and present repair options in all areas. If you are working with such a contractor his team can solve all the disaster-created problems from pavement repairs to restriping.

So as soon as the debris is gone you’ll need to conduct an evaluation of your parking lot. You can do this yourself but it’s probably best to have the contractor evaluate the property and then present a proposal. (If you prefer to walk the site with the contractor on his initial visit, go ahead. Any contractor worth his salt will appreciate your involvement.) Either way, once you have the proposal in hand, walk the property with the contractor and ask any questions you like.

Pavement damage might be structural and could easily require extensive repairs; other damage might be purely cosmetic. A full-service contractor, expert in a broad range of services, can explain the damage to you and help you prioritize the repairs you should make.

Clearly the first repairs should be safety related. This means any uneven pavement, broken concrete, exposed rebar, potholes or anything that could be a trip hazard, damage a tire or cause a driver to have an accident.

But after safety repairs have been made your contractor can help you determine which other repairs need to be made soon – and which can wait. If you have short- and long-term plans for the property make sure to let the contractor know as that could influence the priority of repair.

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